pbg40

#PBG40- Bad Behavior Is Not A Character Trait

"Stuck in my ways"

"I’m an asshole…LOL"

"That’s just how I am"

These are all excuses that people like to offer to explain away their bad behavior and that shit ain’t cool. You don’t get to claim bullshit behavior that hurts others and damages your relationships as a character trait. That is lazy and disrespectful. It is not honorable to you, anyone who cares about you or the Divine. 

When you cling to negative traits in order to shield yourself from dealing with the reality of your consequences, you are actually boxing yourself into spaces in which you cannot grow or flourish. You can’t prosper and reach your full potential declaring "I’m just a jerk…DEAL WITH IT." No, no and HELL NO. Who do you think you are to deny the Love that the Divine has poured into you? Who do you think you are to make these declarations and demand that the rest of us accept you, acknowledge you and pour more Love into you? 

Jesus saves and God forgives. The rest of us don’t owe you shit. 

Look, we ALL do bad things, but we are not inherently bad people. If you find yourself constantly in conflicts that cause you to have to make declarations about who you are, utilize your Free Will and change. If you want to be accepted and loved, you have to take responsibility for presenting yourself as a Lovable Being. Those of us who cherish our full selves will not tolerate the “ways” in which you claim to be stuck. “Ways” are just a choice in direction. We are not static…we can change our direction at any moment in time. 

We are not the bad things we do. We are the people we consciously choose to be. 

~pbg

#PBG40 - Liar, Liar…Go Set Yourself On Fire

One thing I’ve learned in my 30s is that I cannot stand a liar. I truly HATE someone who refuses to have an honorable relationship with the Truth.

People who will look you in the face and tell you something that is not true, for WHATEVER REASON, do not give a fcuk about you. They don’t respect you and they don’t love you. They don’t have your best intereste in mind. It is the single most disrespectful transgression you can perpetrate against me and I feel like at this point in my life, I’ve tolerated it way too much. Moving forward, I’m not going to feel obligated to deal with that anymore. 

Lying and dishonesty take away one’s ability to make proper, informed choices for themselves. That is not an act of Love. It is manipulative and hurtful. Dishonesty breeds resentment in relationships and I believe that resentment is the only thing that Love cannot survive. It’s only purpose is to hide the Truth and that can only last for so long. The Truth is way too powerful to be hidden. The Truth cannot be contained and it refuses to serve us…we are here to serve the Truth. A person who has no real understanding of that means you no good at all.  Quite frankly, I don’t want to deal with anyone so arrogant as to believe that THEY are bigger and more relevant than Truth itself.

~pbg

#PBG40 - There’s Something To Be Said For Speaking Up

If I have learned NOTHING in the last 10-15yrs, I’ve learned that I have to be my own advocate. One of the biggest components of advocacy is SPEAKING UP. You have to speak up for yourself, even when you’re afraid. More than likely, that’s when you will need your voice the most. 

Don’t develop a habit of shrinking and disappearing into your anxieties and feelings of worthlessness, because nobody gives a fck. NOBODY. People are vicious and compassion is at an all-time low. Folks will see your willingness to become small and quiet as their opportunity to take up the space that you should be occupying. They will make what is meant for YOU theirs if you let it happen.

Speak up and give yourself permission to be who you know yourself to be. Speak up and take the opportunities that are yours, because you are worth it and because they are yours to take. 

~pbg

#PBG40 Making The Best of A Bad Situation…The Very Best

The old saying goes “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” I love lemonade and if life dropped lemons in my basket, I would most certainly make some lemonade. I’d make those lemons work for me in as many ways as possible with whatever I have at my disposal. After I squeeze out all that those bitter lemons have to offer, here’s what I’ll do:

  • Water is the conduit that brings in The Spirit, so my that’s what I’ll put that lemon juice in…I will pray. The answers will come.
  • I like my lemonade sweet, so I’ll add some agave nectar or just some plain ol’ sugar. I have Goodness at my disposal, despite and because of what Life has given me. I’ll make sure to mix it well. 
  • The fleshy bits of the lemon, those tiny pieces of the bitterness that we call “the pulp” can stay. They don’t work the same when they’re not cohesive, so they can be small reminders that things aren’t always as bad as they seem. 
  • Adding a little ice will make my lemonade cool and refreshing. Keeping cool will make it easier to deal with and I just may enjoy it more than I thought I would. 
  • Lemonade is perfect to share with friends, so I’ll pour out my newly made joy and share it with my loved ones. It was a popular drink and it still is.
  • When I’m all done, I’ll throw the the rinds from those bitter lemons into the composter and break them down into something that will one day feed the earth and make life itself renew again.

Making the very best of a bad situation.

 

~pbg 

#PBG40 Love The One You’re With…And You’re Always With YOU

I’ve been thinking a lot on alone vs. loneliness. Because I am often alone, and even sometimes lonely. My lonely used to be unbearable, mainly because there is so much shame attached to being lonely. I believe the stigma around loneliness is due to the belief that a person must be unloveable, or at least unlikeable and that’s why they are alone. I mean, that makes sense, right? "If they were better, then someone would love them or maybe even just like them." I think that’s how the conventional thinking goes. 

That’s almost right. 

My alone is usually a choice, because I’m pretty social and “fun” and people do like me. A lot of people like me and I’m grateful to be likable. Sometimes I need to be alone to regroup and recenter myself. I have to look at my life and look at my choices and make sure I’m doing the best things for myself. And I usually can’t do that with a bunch of people around. Because what happens is that end up caring about them and tending to their needs and forget about what it is I need.

But I’m pretty sure my loneliness comes as a result of me not liking myself very much at times. Not feeling loved by myself FOR MYSELF. Either because of something I said or did or something that happened to me that made old feelings of worthlessness bubble up to the surface. Residing in that place is NOT a radical act of kindness and care for oneself.

You have love and like yourself, no matter what offense you have committed or what offense you believe was committed against you. All any of us are guaranteed is ourselves. So you really have to love the one you’re with, because you’re always with YOU. Always.

 A lot of times you WILL find yourself alone AND lonely. That shyt stinks. But to let that momentary condition strip you of your inherent worth is a form of self-abuse. Because your worth is not determined by the people around you at all. It is determined by you. You can never let doubt seep in and take away all that you believe about yourself just because for one night or even a few days, you have to roll solo in everything. Holding on to those feelings of worthlessness will only exacerbate the lonely and the alone. 

Look in your mirror, any mirror…and declare that “I am just fine. I am enough and I’m glad I have myself.” Even if you have to repeat it hourly until you believe it. It’s the best cure for loneliness, so the alone won’t feel so bad. 

~pbg

pic credit: My lovely client & friend, Jamila, New Mommy, spoken word & hip-hop artist.

#PBG40 "Sometimes We Have To Give Ourselves What We Wish To Receive From Others"

This is a quote I found in “O” Magazine about 9 or 10 years ago. It’s from Dr.Phil. It moved me so much that I included it on the collage I plastered all over what would become my Prayer Box. It was true then and it is still very relevant to my life. Probably more so, at this point.

I almost let today’s post fly by because I was feeling hurt and confused and all around f*cked up. Crappy moods happen to Good People too.  But I remembered my commitment to myself and decided to pull it together and write about what I’m feeling in the moment. 

It has always been my sincerest wish that the few people I allow to be closest to me will respect me, cherish me and do all they can to not hurt me. But sometimes, they do. Most of the time, not maliciously. But they’re human just like I am and they make mistakes. We all do. Loved Ones don’t always get it right. 

But that doesn’t mean we don’t deserve the admiration, the dedication and Love that we expect from outside sources. Of course we do. We just have to give it to ourselves. Love resides within, that’s why we have the capacity to give it. But never forget to give yourself some!

So on those days when you find yourself out of it because of disappointment in actions/inactions of others, dust yourself off and pour some Love all over yourself. That’s what I did today. I dressed myself in a cute outfit, made my hair and face and nails pretty and put on some red lipstick. I looked in the mirror and appreciated and loved myself. And I liked it. I felt better and it reminded me that no matter what, I am worthy and I am deserving. Of everything. 

~pbg

#PBG40 “I Needed This Today”

Somebody left that reply on yesterday’s PBG40 post. And it made me smile.

I had been thinking that because I’m posting this countdown series on Tumblr and not on my official DOT COM, that no one is following it or paying much attention. I was ready to let today’s post fly because “who cares?” Right?

But one thing I’ve learned because of this week’s INSANE news cycle (Paula Deen’s racism revealed, SCOTUS decisions, Texas reproductive rights fight, the trial for Trayvon Martin’s accused killer, etc) is that our voices matter, somewhere to someone. We HAVE to speak up, even when we’re tired. Even when we are afraid. Especially when we are afraid. Somebody out there is depending on what YOU have to say.

So here I sit, up making this post at the last minute because I need to honor this obligation. Because I "Follow The Lorde":

I write for those women who do not speak, for those who do not have a voice because they were so terrified, because we are taught to respect fear more than ourselves. We’ve been taught that silence would save us, but it won’t.
Audre Lorde 

And because someone will need this today. 

~pbg

#PBG40- No Gold Stars For Martyrs

I’ve written before about giving yourself the Love you want from other folks, but right now, I mean give yourself some THINGS. GIFTS TO YOUR OWN DAMN SELF!

 Anything. Buy yourself trinkets, clothes, trips, go to the salon for a new hairdo/manicure/massage. Treat yourself to a movie & a nice meal. Get yourself some jewelry or even a car. Anything you want. 

We tend to deny ourselves things we want because we feel the need to justify them. But why? If you are working hard at whatever it is you do, you don’t need to justify a damn thing. To anybody, least of all yourself. You deserve to have nice things and to have a good time. I don’t care what your responsibilities are or who thinks you should be the sacrificial lamb to those to whom you are obligated in some way (kids, spouses, parents, etc.) There is nothing to gain at all in that. You won’t get extra “heaven points” for ignoring and denying your desires. No gold stars for playing a matyr. 

I’m going on a trip by myself to New Orleans for my birthday. I work hard on my job and I had no reason to sit around and wait for someone to give me that which I am fully capable of giving myself. I’m going alone and I don’t feel one iota of guilt, despite being told by folks in my family that I should since I am a Mother. As I move forward into my next phase in life, I’m leaving those notions behind. I will have anything I want that I can comfortably afford myself. Gifting to Self is just one more element of my implementing radical self-love. 

#PBG40: Who Do YOU Want To Be?

Over the past year, I’ve moved from a place of emotional volatility  to a place of measured responses of Love, for no other reason but my desire to be A Good Woman. Simply Good. 

I used to fight, argue, be purposefully mean, hurt others in any way possible. I would do that whenever I felt threatened or fearful or hurt. I was vicious and in retrospect, it was a preemptive defense mechanism that has done nothing more than deprive me of opportunities and alienated people. It may have protected me, but it also left me alone AND lonely. And what I’ve come to know is that is not the person that I want to be. That’s not the person I want to be known as amongst my family, friends and associates. I have a burning need to be better than that. Mostly because I know that I can, but also because I know I should. I should because the world needs more good people and the grace and mercy I’ve been shown throughout my life requires that I be one of those Good People. Why be ugly when I’ve not only been shown the beauty of the world, but allowed to be a part of it?? 

Just because I CAN return disrespect and pain at an equal or greater level to those who have transgressed against me doesn’t mean that I should. It’s just way more important to me to uphold the standards I’ve set for myself. Those standards that require that I exemplify and live in Love at all times, even the face of hate and indifference. 

I will never allow the bad behavior of someone else pull me out of my character. 

The next time you find yourself in conflict with someone and feel the need to react, take a moment to ask yourself: "Who Do I Want To Be??"


~pbg

#PBG40-Disconnect to Reconnect

There is no Day 10, 11 or 12 to this #PBG40 series. And I almost felt bad about that, until I realized that sometimes, those of us who do this whole “Social Media” thing have to disconnect to reconnect. We have lives and loved ones that don’t exist online. Living in 3D requires that I power down my computer and touch a hand, give a hug, give a kiss, go outside and laugh. And love. Support Love. make love. Reconnect with the ones who matter. Fulfill ALL my obligations. Honor all my relationships. 

My best friend needed me this past weekend. It’s his birthday and all he asks is that we show up. So I showed up. Because of Love. My boyfriend and I had been apart in ways that caused us both some pain, so we had to reconnect. My Other Best Friend needed support and affirmation, so I had to be there. I had to be there in ways that matter, for all of them. For me. 

To make sense of my life and be the best me I can be, I have to be there. And being there will sometimes mean I can’t be here. 

~pbg

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#PBG40 - Respectability & Jiggin’ For The White Gaze

With all the comments swirling around murder victim Trayvon Martin’s friend, Rachel Jeantal’s testimony in court yesterday and today and her speech, attitude and appearance, I wanted to tell a story that my daughter shared with me early this morning about an experience she had while out with a co-worker:

My daughter is interning with a civil rights organization this summer in downtown DC. She and another intern, a young Black man, took a cart and walked to the Corner Bakery to pick up the office lunch. You know, regular college-student-intern grunt work. 

While they were in line waiting for their office’s order to be assembled so they could pay and return to the office, a white man in a suit approached them asked the young man with my daughter "Oh! Is this for the order for Such n’ Such Company?" 

The young man says "No. I don’t work here." And looks away.

The white guy pauses, walks away for a second and returns and asks him again, "Well, how do I arrange for catering?"

The young man says "Sir, I DO NOT WORK FOR THIS DELICATESSEN."

The white guy walks off in a huff. My daughter and her co-worker just look at each other and shake their heads.

The interns are required to dress in proper office attire, daily. According to my daughter, this young man wears a suit and tie EVERYDAY, without fail. She says he’s very articulate, intelligent and well-spoken. He’s a junior at Brown University and plans on going to law school. Hell, I hope she dates him. (LOL)

But this is where you can drop off your silly notions of “respectability” and performing for the White Gaze. Because no matter how well you speak, where you go to school, what job you have, how good you look in a suit, some ignorant white person will STILL stroll their asses in and not only assume you’re The Help, but insist that you perform as such for them and them alone. 

Until next time, My Loves!

~pbg